AFL great Nick Riewoldt has taken aim at Mick Malthouse over a controversial article written by the former coach.
The former Collingwood and Carlton coach recently took a look at which current AFL players were on their last legs and should be considering retirement.
But Riewoldt, who’s been retired since the end of the 2017 season, took issue with the article.
“I hate it. I don’t understand why we do it as an organisation,” Riewoldt said on AFL 360 on Wednesday night.
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“We (Riewoldt and Bob Murphy) experienced it last year, for the first time, and the only time, because we succumbed to the noise.
“But every year, this is about the time when someone, or a group, starts to basically call time (on players).
“Mick Malthouse wrote an article — and he wrote the same one last year — he just, I don’t know whether he’s got a template and he just cuts and pastes and picks out some blokes that are over 30 and puts their name in it. But I don’t understand why we do it.
“And this article, Gary Ablett. I mean, are we kidding? Do we think Gary Ablett should retire? That’s a joke.
“He also mentioned Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy from West Coast in the article. So I think you lose all credibility when you do that.”
Fellow retiree Bob Murphy put forward a different approach to the issue.
“That kind of article always stirs the pot.
“I just think there’s a more interesting — there’s a different angle on that whole story.
“Players in the twilight are trying to outrun the sunset. I think there’s so many good little nuanced stories there of how far can they — how can they squeeze out that last little bit of their career or could they go again.
“There’s just a different thing (in footy) of ‘I’m going to call it first — he’s gone, he’s gone.'”